This is the first letter that Lisa Rein wrote to Chelsea Manning, on October 7, 2015.
Full text of letter:
October 7, 2015
I hope this letter finds you well. That sounds a little ridiculous to say, under the circumstances. You've endured so much and come out such a shining symbol of all that is good in the world. I really mean that, and I think of you often.
I sent you a card a few weeks ago, but I didn't want to complicate the sentiment of the card with the subject I'd like to talk about now. Allow me to introduce myself. I am a co-founder of Creative Commons, where I worked with Aaron Swartz, when he was 15, on its technical specification. These days, I am the organizer for the yearly Aaron Swartz Day and International Hackathon that takes place around the world, every year, on what would have been his birthday weekend in November.
This year we are celebrating whistleblowers, the SecureDrop, anonymous whistleblower submission system at the Freedom of the Press Foundation, and how whistleblowers can now use SecureDrop to connect directly to news organizations, such as the Washington Post, Guardian, The Intercept, the New York, Gawker, and others.
I was hoping that perhaps you might write a statement that I, or anyone of your choosing, could read outloud at the big evening event, on November 7th. I have a feeling you are familiar with Aaron Swartz already, and might already understand why it would mean so much for someone like you to have a presence at this year•s event.
It could be as short, or as long as you would like, and focus on any topic that you would like. The important thing is that it would be coming from you.
I don't even know if you're allowed to write or receive mail right now, so I totally understand that there might be political pressure on you to NOT do things like this. And I really really understand if you just decide not to do this, and I wonder if it will even be up to you, but I just had to try :-)